Ontario's new model for health care, Ontario Health Teams, announced earlier in March, is a significant cultural shift for our health care system explains Suzanne Trivers. Suzanne has worked as a nurse or health system leader in most sectors of health care in her 30+ year career. Having lived and been an active community member in rural Ontario (both north and south), downtown Toronto, Mississauga, Guelph and now Fergus, Suzanne has a broad understanding of the human impacts of health and social services on the health of the people living in Ontario. Suzanne is the inaugural Executive Director of the Mount Forest Family Health Team and the current Board Chair of the Rural Ontario Institute
Planning housing for our changing demographics is a challenge that all municipalities face across the province. We have a growing seniors population and an increasing number of newcomers to Canada making Ontario their home. When adding in the challenges specific to rural communities, such as youth leaving for jobs/education elsewhere and empty-nesters buying up rural properties, you have the recipe for a lack of affordable housing options.
The provincial government has introduced proposed policy changes to provincial planning directions that govern municipal planning documents and decisions within the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The intent is to establish a new framework that will be more permissive and allow more land to be developed for commercial and industrial purposes (i.e., employment land) or residential uses.
The Ontario government is developing an action plan with the objective of helping increase the supply of housing in Ontario. To inform the plan, the government is collecting the views of all Ontarians on how to expand the supply of ownership and rental housing in Ontario. ROI encourages rural stakeholders to contribute their ideas, as there are many aspects of such a plan that could be relevant to rural places.
On November 20th, Canadian Auditor General (AG) Michael Ferguson released his fall 2018 reports. One of these was on rural broadband and he found that the lack of funding led the responsible department to abdicate its leadership for preparing a comprehensive strategy. The AG’s report centres out the federal department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
The federal government is considering a proposal that would limit Internet services from hundreds of thousands of rural Canadian households in favour of providing enhanced coverage in urban areas.
The Northern Policy Institute (NPI) is advocating for an Immigration Pilot Program for rural and northern Ontario. NPI's President and CEO, Charles Cirtwill, has provided a guest blog outlining the how similar programs in other provinces could be tailored to fit the needs of rural and northern Ontario.
The Ontario NDP is the first provincial party to respond to the Rural Priorities Election Questions.
The Rural Ontario Institute has prepared 10 questions of importance to rural Ontario for the upcoming provincial election based on priorities from our recent Rural Priorities survey.
Lissel Hernandez-Gongora, an international PhD student at the University of Guelph, shares her experience as an intern with the Rural Ontario Institute.